What Is Pharmaceutical Engineering?

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  • Written By: YaShekia King
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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Pharmaceutical engineering is a field that deals with the process of creating manufacturing plants and the pharmaceutical products that these plants generate. A pharmaceutical engineer helps to produce regulatory guidelines regarding the production of medical drugs as well. The field of biotechnology typically requires individuals to complete a minimum of four years of college-level training and to get practical experience with handling the pharmaceutical production process.

An important aspect of the pharmaceutical engineering industry includes the specialty areas of upholding regulatory standards and facilitating the delivery of pharmaceutical products. A pharmaceutical engineer makes sure that personal and environmental safety standards are being maintained when pharmaceuticals are being produced. In addition, a biotechnologist is responsible for labeling and packaging pharmaceuticals after validating the integrity of the end products.

Another major aspect of the biotechnology industry is the pharmaceutical facility design process. Pharmaceutical engineers essentially construct both pharmaceutical manufacturing plants and research facilities while taking into consideration the design of process equipment as well as “cleanrooms,” important utilities and water systems. Cleanrooms are enclosed areas that have a low number of environmental pollutants, such as dust and other contaminants.


The development of high-quality drugs is a chief part of the pharmaceutical engineering industry as well. Pharmaceutical engineers use their knowledge of important drug attributes along with chemical processes and scientific computing procedures to put together drugs that target various health conditions. Biotechnologists essentially facilitate the conversion of biological and chemical materials into drugs that humans can use, and also perform quality assurance tests to ensure that these drugs fulfill their intended purposes.

People who wish to work in the biotechnology industry have a multitude of career options and must possess several skills. Positions for pharmaceutical engineers are advertised as positions in biochemistry, as bioprocesses engineering jobs, or as chemical engineering opportunities. Pharmaceutical engineering industry jobs can be found at sites such as government agencies, colleges, pharmaceutical companies, and even national labs. All career options in the pharmaceutical engineering industry demand that individuals are strong leaders and possess solid organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills.

Entry into the pharmaceutical engineering industry requires a minimum of a four-year bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering area. Employers, however, typically look for pharmaceutical engineers who have a two-year master’s degree or a four- to five-year doctoral degree in the industry. Graduate degrees typically are required for a pharmaceutical engineer who wishes to work in research. A pharmaceutical engineer also can pursue voluntary industry certification through the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering.


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